By Dan Robitzski
Scientists have long assumed that about 40 percent of the universe’s visible matter — the kind makes up everything we can see and touch — was missing, never having been detected.
Now, a team of researchers from France’s National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) says it’s finally found it — hidden away in the diffuse filaments of the gigantic, galaxy-connecting cosmic web. The research, published Friday in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, revealed the missing matter after scientists took a new look at a pile of 20-year-old data.
The filaments of gas that make up the cosmic web are thought to connect networks of galaxies across vast voids of nothingness in the universe, according to a CNRS press release. Sometimes they also serve as a source of fresh material for nearby galaxies or black holes, making the web itself even more threadbare and faint.
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